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198          MY    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

first is the traditional view, and the second the Western view
and also the view of Hanfeitse. As Hanfeitse says, we should
not expect people to be good, but we should make it impossible
for them to be bad. That is the moral basis of the legalist
philosophy. In other words, instead of expecting our rulers to
be gentlemen and to walk in the path of righteousness, we
should assume them to be potential prison-inmates and devise
ways and means to prevent these potential convicts from
robbing the people and selling the country. One can readily
see that the latter system is more likely to be effective as a
check for political corruption than waiting for a change of
hearts in these gentlemen.

In China, however, we have been doing the reverse. Instead
of assuming them to be potential crooks, as we should have
done long ago, we assume them to be gentlemen. In the good
old Confucian way, we expect them to be benevolent rulers
and to love the people as their own sons. We expect them to be
honest, and we say, "Go ahead, spend what you like out of the
public funds, and we will not demand a public budget or a
rendering of public accounts." We say to our militarists, "Go
ahead, we trust you will love the people so much that we will
let you tax us according to your conscience." And we say to
our diplomats, "Go ahead, we have implicit faith in your
patriotism, and will allow you to contract any and every sort
of international treaty without having to submit it to us for
approval." And to all our officials we say, "In case you turn
out to be gentlemen, we will erect stone pailou in your honour,
but in case you turn out to be crooks, we will not put you in
prison." Never in other countries was there such a gentle-
manly treatment of officials. Now Hanfeitse says this is all
wrong: it is taking too many chances with their moral endow-
ments. If Hanfeitse were living to-day he would advise us to
assume them to be crooks and say to them, "We will not exhort
you to the path of righteousness and we will not erect stone
pailou in your honour in case you turn out to be gentlemen, but
in case you turn out to be crooks, we will send you to prison."
That seems to be a sounder and speedier way of putting an
end to our political corruption.
I quote here a passage from Hanfeitse, in a rather free